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Member No.: 386
Joined: 30-November 06
A golden thread unraveled, grew faint, in mid-stride Máratyaro realized that Cotumo could hold no longer and sought the road towards the Halls where Námo would judge him.
He could see Cotumo clearly now, an orc, strangely graceful for one of their kind, stood over him. Hatred and fear emanated from the orc like heat from a banked fire. Another orc struggled on the ground not far away; it looked like it was trying to drag itself out of the line of sight of the elves. Máratyaro's troop had begun to check for orcs not killed by their arrow fire, there would be no prisoners. It was no concern of his whether the orc died now or was dispatched later.
He raised his sword, his mouth open in a wordless cry; grief, despair, nascent hatred blossomed into sound. He charged the orc that had taken his son from him.
His son lay motionless while Maratyaro's world filled with his own scream. It was senseless to think of it but he knew that the next few moments would stay with him until he rested with his son awaiting the world to change in the Halls of Mandos. He was on the orc which was lithe as an elf, wiry strength in the arm that countered the first blow. He wanted the orc's head. Instead, he found himself face to face with it, transfixed by eyes as grey as his own. He faltered for an instant, he thought he was facing one of his own kind and the horror of the Kinslaying revisited him. Only by twisting away did he avoid losing an arm. He returned the blow off-balance and the flat of his sword swatted the side of the orc's head. It fell straight down, lying in nearly the same position as Cotumo.
Feet pounded behind him, he glanced backwards, hoping for Lalon, willing him to be here and fearful he would be. Aglarkano, one of the lightly armed archers, dropped to his knees on the other side of Cotumo's body. Cotumo was beautiful in death, pale and tranquil, the anguish of the last days left behind him.
"Help me move him," he rasped. Maratyaro pushed back a lock of Cotumo's hair that had escaped the butchery done to it, then gently kissed his still warm brow. They lifted the limp form together and made their way as quickly as their burden would let them towards the reforming troop of elves. Behind him the downed orc stirred.
Member No.: 329
Joined: 11-July 06
Lalon stared into the eyes of the massive orc that had just swung its mace at him. The spiked ball was as big as Lalon's head. As though from far away, Lalon heard his father's thunderous shout, but could not turn to look at him. He had to keep his eyes on his foe, for all of his companions were engaged in battles of their own. Lalon took a few precious moments to regather his strength, evading several blows from the lethal mace. Then, numb to the pain of the arrow in his back, Lalon used both hands to bring his sword down on the vulnerable spot between the orc's helmet and its shoulder armor. The blow severed the orc's arm and cut down into its middle. When the orc fell, Lalon kew he had eliminated its threat.
Lalon ran to help his father and Aglarkano carry his brother to safety. Cotumo's body was torn beyond recognition, but his face, though bruised, retained an ethereal beauty. Desperate tears choked Lalon's throat.
"He is not dead!" Lalon sobbed in defiance of the hopeless look on his father's face. If his twin was dead, Lalon did not know how he would survive without him. But then he detected a faint tremor from Cotumo. He had not moved nor made any sound, but the bond of the brothers' fëar had glimmered back into existence. It was tenuous, but it was there. Lalon's eyes flooded with hope. "He is not dead," he repeated, this time utterly convinced of the fact.
All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure. --Mark Twain
Member No.: 383
Joined: 28-November 06
When he saw the female dratul got struck to the ground and the elves carrying the prisoner away from them he knew that their mission had became a complete failure.
Oh, they are going to be SO VERY satisfied at home when they learn about this.
He made a try getting up at his feet to make a change of that, and try to retrieve the prisoner again, while cursing Lwuks incompetence at the same time as the existance of elves in general and the ones nearby in particular. At first his effort seemed to work but when he made the last twitch to stand up compleatly his wound mede him so much pain that he fell to the ground unconsious being very still as he had been struck dead by the lightning or something.
His mind became compleatly blank, and he neither saw or heared anything of what occured around him.
Member No.: 386
Joined: 30-November 06
Carrying his dead son, straining with the weight of him, smelling the unique odor of his skin, was the greatest pain Maratyaro had ever known. Maratyaro did not want to lay him down, it would be the first letting go and he did not want to release him yet. He knew that they would rejoin one another, that there would be a time of waiting and then the warmth of reunion. Still anger rose in him at the loss; he wanted to slaughter every yrch that existed. After he lay his son down and attended to the first laying out of the body he would return to finish any of the enemy that remained alive. They would smoke in a pyre after his son's.
Lalon's voice broke into his thoughts but they made no sense. How could the inert cooling body he carried still have a spark of life? He looked at his living son's face, saw the tears and cried aloud, "Stop, stop, lay him down."
He nearly dropped Cotumo in his haste. Lifting Cotumo by the shoulders he supported his head and then pressed his ear against his lips but there was nothing but the rush of his own pounding heart. He shot an anguished glance at Lalon and then carefully lay Cotumo's head down and laid his hands over his heart. He expected silence as deep as his grief but Cotumo's heart fluttered beneath his hands. He grasped for Lalon's hand for support and felt the tremor of life in Cotumo assert itself. His anguish and guilt filled him, rage had kept him from feeling his own son's life. He, too, had been touched by the evil that held the yrch in thrall. Still holding Lalon's hand he carefully lifted Cotumo's palm to his cheek and held it there as he wept with relief.
Member No.: 321
Joined: 23-June 06
He could hear nothing but a soft indistinct blending of sound. His open eyes gazed upward unblinking, seeing the white silk sleeve of Varda slowly draw over his face. Then voices whispered vaguely, indistinct, guiding him toward the halls of Mandos. What were they saying? Why could he not see the gates to the place where all elves who suffer death were destined to be received by Námo?
Cotumo was glad there was no pain and that his memory could not call up the part of his death where injury occurred. He was happy the enemy were unable to follow him on his journey. Vague as his death seemed, he could recall the one orc with the hatred in its grey eyes. His captors did not threaten him and peace had enclosed his heart. He was beyond them now. There was only a slow rocking motion like waves lapping around a small boat. He wondered if he was required to sail to Mandos, that the white silk of Varda's sleeve was actually a sail from the boat. What he also wondered was if the others were sailing also. Was Tolmá with him? He hoped his boyhood friend would travel with him...
"Not now my young one. Not now."
The soft words were strangely clear and Cotumo pondered what they meant and who it was who had spoken to him.
"You must return to life, to your father, to your brother, to what has been put in motion."
Again the soft words. They hung in his mind as their meaning danced around his thoughts. Didn't the speaker understand? He would not return to THAT life! No orc would look upon him as one of its own kind! He would not betray his father and brother or be used against them! He must die! He was DEAD!
"No young one. My doors are shut to you!"
Cotumo's chest rose up, drawing in breath and his lungs emptied in a sigh of disappointment.
Member No.: 386
Joined: 30-November 06
"He lives. He lives, he lives," Maratyaro murmured, giddy with his liberation from grief.
"Now, we must bring him back," he said looking from Lalon to Aglarkano, "for he has been forced into darkness that few among us have walked through and recovered to tell the tale. Quickly now, the yrch were too close to their prize to not follow. Aglarkano, when we arrive you will take three others and finish those that lay on the field."
Maratyaro gathered his son into his arms and held him, then nodded his head to Lalon, "To the camp, yonda. I will not risk losing either of you, a second time."
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